New data collected in the UK, France, Spain and Germany by IPSOS and GameTrack, and provided exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz has indicated that a significant portion of the public are already interested in owning some form of virtual reality technology, with people who already own at least one game platform unsurprisingly showing slightly more interest than average.
The exact question asked was as follows: "New 'virtual reality' technology will soon be available, allowing you to experience more immersive entertainment at home. Wearing a special headset linked to devices such as computers or games consoles, you will be able to move around within virtual three dimensional environments and see and hear as if you were actually there. This could include playing video games, as well as interacting with other content (such as films or simulated environments).
Assuming the price was acceptable to you, how interested would you be in having this type of 'virtual reality' technology at home?
Coming from 180.5 million responses from people aged 11-64, the data indicates that a third of those questioned are interested in buying virtual reality hardware, a number which rises to 44 per cent when narrowed down to those who already play games on at least one other platform. Nine per cent of all respondents were "very interested" in buying a VR headset, whilst 24 per cent were "somewhat interested". 21 Per cent were "not very interested" and 39 per cent showed no interest at all.
Of the four countries questioned, Spain had the highest percentage of interested people, at 43 per cent, followed by France at 32 per cent, the UK at 30 per cent and Germany at 29 per cent.
Drilling down into the demographics of the positive respondents shows some interesting trends. Gender wise, those interested were quite evenly split, 55-45 in favour of male respondents. 15-24 year olds made up the largest portion of the interested parties, at 27 percent, although the over 45s were not far behind with 25 per cent. Of the different platform holders interest ranged from handheld gamers at 60 per cent, down to PC gamers at just 44 per cent.
The research probably won't be the basis of too many sales predictions at Valve, Facebook or Sony, but it is a clear indication that the appeal of VR, at least at an affordable price, is a reasonably broad one. Whether that 'acceptable price' is something which the big three players can convince the public they've achieved is still very much the question.